Life Lesson #3: this too shall pass.

even-the-darkest-night

One year ago today, I was bed ridden in the hospital, hooked up to fetal monitors and being starved in the event I needed to be taken in for an emergency c-section. Should Charlie have become distressed, the hospital staff boasted they would be able to knock me out, get me into surgery, and have Charlie safely born in 2 minutes flat.

Yikes.

Now aren’t we glad THAT didn’t happen?!

I was on an IV of antibiotics, getting steroid shots for his lungs, and on nasty medication to keep stopping my contractions. The goal was to keep him in for at least 48 hours for the steroids to kick in and increase his ability to breath on his own – but the best case scenario was to keep him in for another two weeks so I could hit 34 weeks, which is a much safer milestone for babies.

I was MISERABLE. Miserable. I had a migraine from all the meds and no food in my pregnant belly . . . I mean, I was a mess. I couldn’t even get out of bed to walk to the bathroom because Charlie’s heart rate would dangerously decel when I stood up. Even if I was laying a certain way, the monitors would go off, nurses would rush in and reposition me so Charlie would be comfy. With little fluid, every move he made was torture on my insides. And every move could have dangerously wrapped the cord around his neck. I was petrified.

Thinking about the possibility of two full weeks of hospital bed rest, being as petrified as I was about how he was doing in there, made me want to jump out of my skin. Not to mention all hope of a natural labor were gone – a C-section was my only option at that point.

Lots of different specialists were filtering their way through my room that first day. Ultrasounds to check fluid levels and see how Charlie was fairing. NICU staff who would come in to chat and prepare us for what was to come. I just remember not truly understanding anything – I have no recollection of anything they said to me other than their goal was to keep me pregnant as long as possible. And when he did arrive, he would be stabilized in the OR and then taken immediately to the NICU and that I would not be able to hold him.

It was all so heavy and I wasn’t able to truly comprehend the situation. I was more concerned that all I really wanted was some strong migraine meds and a comforting grilled cheese sandwich. And for Charlie to be born so I could stop being miserable. All I could do this day a year ago was complain and feel sorry for myself, honestly. Oh, and google statistics on 32 weekers. (When will I ever learn to stay off the google in times like that?)

While this was all going down, it felt like things were never going to get better and I was going to be there forever. Of course I wasn’t. Charlie was born just 48 hours later. Then, Charlie was born and it felt like his NICU stay would never end. Of course it did. Charlie blew away expectations and we were home in just 19 days, over two weeks earlier than our originally anticipated discharge.

THEN, once Charlie got home it felt like the newborn stage was NEVER ENDING. Toss in a husband who decided to leave me and my entire life being turned upside down from being a brand new mom and a brand new single lady . . . well, let’s just say there were many nights in the past year where it’s felt like I was facing some of my darkest hours.

And I did.

This past year brought with it my darkest, yet some of my happiest, moments all rolled into one.

But it’s those happy moments . . . and those moments when things look up and you realize change is on the horizon . . . that remind you that hope is never lost. That storms never last. Your luck will always eventually turn around. Pain is always, always temporary. And when you hit rock bottom . . . the only way from there is up.

[Insert every other cliche on tough times passing here . . . they are cheesy, but oh so true.]

A year later now, those days in the hospital feel like a little drop in the bucket. Even the heart break and torment felt when S initially left has [mostly] lost its power over me. Rather, I know there are still some tough times ahead, but I know I will make it through. And the days of colicky Charlie are [mostly] behind me. (He still has some very cranky days, unfortunately, he’s a screamer.)

So, it’s days like today when I think back on the hardships of this past year and I am reminded how fleeting time is. And how every situation is temporary. That’s the wonderful thing about life. It always goes on.

This week, this month, I’m right on the cusp of some major changes. The house is going sell. I’m going to have to move. I need to dive into my job search. Charlie is starting nursery school on June 1st.

It’s so, so overwhelming.

So, I take a deep breath and remind myself . . . this too shall pass.

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